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Dialogue of Papers expo opens in Indonesian capital

Exhibitions Doha 30 Nov 23
Dialogue of Papers expo opens in Indonesian capital
‘Dialogue of Papers’ exhibition opens in Indonesian capital.
Event Location
Qatar, Qatar
Start Time
30 November 2023, 12:00 AM
End Time
16 December 2023, 12:00 AM

The “Dialogue of Papers” exhibition was opened by The Years of Culture initiative at the Emiria Soenassa Gallery, Taman Ismail Marzuki (TIM) in Jakarta. This is a remarkable artistic endeavour that encapsulates the deep cultural connection shared between Qatar and Indonesia.

Organised as part of the Qatar-Indonesia 2023 Year of Culture, the exhibition is held from November 25 to December 16, 2023 it and delves into the intricate relationship between the two countries through the medium of papermaking. This cultural dialogue is portrayed through collaborative artworks that brought together two exceptional artists: Qatari artist Yousef Ahmad and Indonesian artist Widi Pangestu.

Qatar’s Ambassador to Indonesia Her Excellency Fawziya Edrees Al Sulaiti said, “For nearly 50 years, Qatar and Indonesia have shared positive diplomatic relations – but our cultural connections run deeper. We share similar values — family as a pillar of society and the strength that diversity brings to nations and people. In fact, Indonesia is the first country from the ASEAN region to be selected as a Year of Culture partner. The Dialogue of Papers is a beautiful embodiment of our powerful connection.”

Curated by Years of Culture Senior Museums Expert Dr Aisha Al Misnad, the ‘Dialogue of Papers’ exhibition showcases the results of a collaborative workshop held in Qatar, where Yousef Ahmad and Widi Pangestu combined the unique natural elements of both countries. This collaboration involved the fusion of palm tree pulp from Qatar with abaca and mulberry pulps from Indonesia, resulting in 36 artworks that will be on display at the Emiria Soenassa Gallery.

“The Dialogue of Papers concept is a legacy borne out of Year of Culture’s partnership with Japan. We were thrilled to host Widi Pangestu in Doha for workshops with Yusuf Ahmad. The resulting artworks offer a captivating exploration of concepts such as fullness and emptiness, differences and similarities, and the power of dialogue through shared creativity. It is a visual representation of the profound connection between Qatar and Indonesia, transcending geographic boundaries through art,” said Dr Aisha Al Misnad.

Yousef Ahmad and Widi Pangestu will hold a free public talk at the gallery on Saturday, November 25 at 1pm.

Yousef Ahmad is one of the most prominent Qatari artists and he is amongst the first generation of Qatari artists to have studied abroad. He started his artistic career in the 1970s creating artworks by experimenting with different shapes and structures, with the ambition to form new narratives. His interest in working on paper started in the 1980s, and he has since experimented with many types of papers that originate from different places.

Widi Pangestu is a pioneer Indonesian artist, whose work is characterized by his use and exploration of papermaking in his artistic practice. Throughout his career, he has focused on paper as the central medium for his productions and reflections, researching and experimenting with its possibilities as a vehicle for meaning making.

At its core, this exhibition delves into the ways in which distinct environments, landscapes and climates have influenced the lives and experiences of people in Qatar and Indonesia. Indonesia, an archipelago of lush, green islands, boasts dense forests teeming with plants of diverse shapes and hues.

The contrast is stark when compared to Qatar, a peninsula characterised predominantly by a desert landscape, a region initially appearing devoid of flora. However, the desert has generously gifted the palm tree, which has thrived in the face of harsh conditions and limited water resources.

‘Dialogue of Papers’ was launched as a legacy project of the Qatar - Japan Year of Culture, an exhibition organised to mark 50 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries. This recurring exhibition has now become one of the initiative’s key annual events as a residency for international artists from partnering countries.

‘Dialogue of Papers’ expo

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